Subject: That's how Nathan sees the Memorial Day

Dear Friend,
My name is Nathan Landau, and I am leading this year’s joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony. Our Memorial Ceremony is an extraordinary - and radical - event. It is a show of solidarity, respect and deep connection between Palestinians and Israelis on the most sacred day of the secular calendar in Israel: Yom Hazikaron. 
This is my second year organizing the event, and when Memorial time comes around, it completely dominates every aspect of my life: I wake up thinking about organizing the security guards and fall asleep dreaming about potential speakers or musicians. I work with a small group of staff: Adam Rabee, my partner on the Palestinian side of Combatants for Peace, and Gili Meisler from the Parents Circle - Families Forum. Together we oversee a team of 150 dedicated volunteers. Sometimes friends ask: what makes us put everthing else aside for three months in order to do this?
 
For me, the answer is simple: I believe in democracy, and I want to see a better future for my country. In light of last week’s elections, that might seem oxymoronic – this current Israeli administration does everything in their power to damage our Ceremony, and arguably, any other potential pathways to peace. But democracy means so much more than walking into a polling station every four years to cast a single vote before turning away. Democracy is about the power of the people to effect change – and it is something that we must do everyday.
True democracy is not only the power to decide on our leaders – but it is also the power to challenge them. It is about the people, the grassroots, and working together to build a better world. 
 
When I was in the army, I lost a very dear friend of mine in Lebanon. While at his funeral, I found myself crying, although the tears weren’t for him – they were for me and my future children. It dawned on me then that with constant war every few years, and the reality of daily occupation – that attending the funerals of my friends and family would always be our fate – unless we stand up together to change it. I will be getting married in a few months, and we would like to start a family. What kind of world am I going to offer my children? 
We Need You. 
Our societies have despaired, feeling that peace is impossible... but 10,000 people gathering on May 7th, at our joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Ceremony will prove that peace IS possible. Help us end the occupation, help us end the unnecessary bloodshed, and join with us in bringing peace, justice and equality to all Palestinians and Israelis alike.
 
There is no power like the power of the people – because the power of the people won’t stop.
Combatants for Peace, Ushiskin 113, 47204, Ramat HaSharon, Israel
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